MET-activating Residues in the B-repeat of the Listeria monocytogenes Invasion Protein InlB

July 28, 2017


MET-activating Residues in the B-repeat of the Listeria monocytogenes Invasion Protein InlB


Willem M. Bleymüller, Nina Lämmermann, Maria Ebbes, Daniel Maynard, Christina Geerds, Hartmut H. Niemann




The Journal of Biological Chemistry


The facultative intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes causes listeriosis, a rare but life-threatening disease. Host cell entry begins with activation of the human receptor tyrosine kinase MET through the bacterial invasion protein InlB, which contains an internalin domain, a B-repeat, and three GW domains. The internalin domain is known to bind MET, but no interaction partner is known for the B-repeat. Adding the B-repeat to the internalin domain potentiates MET activation and is required to stimulate Madin Darbey canine kidney (MDCK) cell scatter. Therefore, it has been hypothesized that the B-repeat may bind a co-receptor on host cells. To test this hypothesis, we mutated residues that might be important for binding an interaction partner. We identified two adjacent residues in strand β2 of the β-grasp fold whose mutation abrogated induction of MDCK cell scatter. Biophysical analysis indicated that these mutations do not alter protein structure. We then tested these mutants in human HT-29 cells which, in contrast to the MDCK cells, were responsive to the internalin domain alone. These assays revealed a dominant negative effect, reducing the activity of a construct of the internalin domain and mutated B-repeat below that of the individual internalin domain. Phosphorylation assays of MET and its downstream targets AKT and ERK confirmed the dominant negative effect. Attempts to identify a host cell receptor for the B-repeat were not successful. We conclude that there is limited support for a co-receptor hypothesis, and instead suggest that the B-repeat contributes to MET activation through low-affinity homodimerization.




Circular dichroism, Secondary structure, Biochemistry